Men’s Track and Field’s Kristian Sogaard Qualifies for D3 Indoor Nationals
Issue   |   Tue, 02/27/2018 - 20:48
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20 won the 3,000 meters race with a time of 8:35, besting his previous personal best by upwards of five seconds.

All season, the Mammoths had been scheduled to compete at the Middlebury Winterfell Meet, a competitive last chance meet. However, earlier last week the Winterfell was cancelled due to a lack of athletes entered to compete in it.

Rather than give up on the weekend though, the Mammoths decided to travel to Maine and compete at the University of Southern Maine in the Maine State Open, another last chance meet. The Huskies have a flat track, giving the Mammoths another opportunity to qualify for the Division III Indoor Track and Field Nationals, qualification for which is achieved by a top-15 time in individual events and a top-12 time in relays.
In search of a qualifying time in his specialty event, junior Kristian Sogaard made the trip north and emerged victorious, winning the four-lap event in a time of 1:52.2. The All-American was paced through the opening 600 meters by teammate Ralph Skinner ’20, who helped Sogaard by making sure the race was fast enough to ensure a nationals qualifying time.

With this year’s indoor nationals being held on a banked track, all races over 200 meters run on flat tracks are converted as if they were run on a banked track. With the conversion from flat to banked, Sogaard’s time is 1:50.6, which puts him second in Division III, only a half second behind Matt Molinaro of Ohio Northern.

“I am relieved to have finally qualified, since I was right on the cusp of qualifying before with my time earlier this season,” Sogaard said. “Having [Skinner] pace me all the way through 600 meters was also crucial. I’m not sure if I could have done it without him.”

Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20 also travelled to Maine, winning the 3,000 meters in a time of 8:35, a new personal best by five seconds. The sophomore standout improved upon the personal best he had run at the Tufts Cupid Challenge in early February, setting him up well for a promising outdoor track season after a breakout cross country campaign that helped the Mammoths place fourth overall at cross country nationals.

Next weekend, the 4x400-meter relay will compete at the Tufts Last Chance meet in search of a qualifying time for nationals. Currently, the Mammoth relay from the Boston University Valentine Invitational, comprised of Ryan Prenosil ’21, Vernon Espinoza ’19, David Ingraham ’18 and Sogaard, is ranked 28th in Division III, but with less than a second separating the 12th-fastest time and the Mammoths’ current seed, anything is possible.

“I’m looking forward to training the next two weeks, hopefully qualifying for nationals in the 4x400 relay next week [and[ then racing well at nationals,” Sogaard said.

The Tufts Last Chance meet is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, with the start time yet to be determined.